In a season that still looks like it could end in relegation, it is somehow ironic that Hampshire’s batsmen have helped themselves to a second all-time club record of the campaign.
Jimmy Adams (204 not out) and Michael Carberry (182) served up a batting masterclass as the visitors closed day two of their clash at Somerset on 480 for four – some 276 runs ahead of the hosts.
And it was their partnership of 373 – a second-wicket record for Hampshire, eclipsing the 321 by George Brown and Edward Barrett against Gloucestershire in 1920 – that was the cornerstone of their commanding position.
Carberry has got previous when it comes to smashing records this season after an extraordinary 300 not out in the 523-run stand with Neil McKenzie against Yorkshire.
And his latest effort was imperious as he hit 33 fours and one six in his 313-ball knock at Taunton.
With Carberry carving boundaries at regular intervals, the only surprise was when he actually nicked one in the first over after tea.
Somerset’s Steve Kirby amusingly celebrating the wicket as if it was the dismissal that won the Championship for his side.
And it prompted the almost inevitable mini-collapse as McKenzie (five) and James Vince (six) followed in quick succession having sat with their pads on for the whole day.
But at the other end, Adams went about his own business with discipline and remarkable concentration as he batted through the entire day to get to his double century – the second of his career after his 262 not out against Nottinghamshire in 2006.
The modest left-hander will tell you himself he lacks the classic grace of some batters.
But he more than makes up for it with guts, power and a consistent ability to score runs for his county.
And that’s why he captains the side in Dominic Cork’s absence and looks most likely to be given the job full-time if the former England all-rounder decides to hang up his boots at the end of the season.
Sean Ervine (56 not out) added useful late runs as the visitors closed in on 500.
And they will look to go way beyond today before turning their attentions to securing an innings victory.
Somerset already know they will need to show far more grit than they did on day one to stand any chance of saving the game.
But spinner Imran Tahir will be key on a pitch that is just starting to show signs of producing some turn.